TEACHER OF THE YEAR: The students of Chinchilla State School form a guard of honour to farewell Mrs Kath Truscott who is retiring after 33 years of teaching.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR: The students of Chinchilla State School form a guard of honour to farewell Mrs Kath Truscott who is retiring after 33 years of teaching. Kate McCormack

Thanks Mrs Truscott: school farewells teacher after 32 years

AFTER three decades of teaching, Chinchilla State School's beloved Kath Truscott is hanging up her whiteboard erasers.

The learning support teacher comes from a family of teachers and said she couldn't imagine having taught anywhere else.

"Both of my parents are teachers so I think there's a bit of a genetic disposition in me to teach and help those around me,” she said.

"I always got into trouble for helping the students beside me with their maths in high school.”

After 32 years at Chinchilla State School, Mrs Truscott has taught two generations of students, with the third not too far away.

She also met her husband, Frank, through the school, and has been working alongside some of her first students, Phillip Gray and Melissa Verdon, who will be taking over her place as the learning support teacher.

Mrs Kath Truscott with two of her first pupils who now teach at Chinchilla State School themselves. Left to right: Mr Philip Gray, Mrs Kath Truscott and Mrs Melissa Verdon from Chinchilla State School.
Mrs Kath Truscott with two of her first pupils who now teach at Chinchilla State School themselves. Left to right: Mr Philip Gray, Mrs Kath Truscott and Mrs Melissa Verdon from Chinchilla State School. Kate McCormack

"(Mrs Truscott) was my Year 5 teacher back in 1989,” Mrs Verdon said.

"One thing I'll always remember about Mrs Truscott, she always tried to make learning fun.

"I'll never forget the world cultures unit we did where we got to dress up in our country's national dress and eat exotic foods.

"I had Norway and it was a lot of fun.”

Mrs Truscott said not a lot had changed in the teaching profession in her 33 years as a teacher.

"The school has shrunk and grown over the years but kids are kids and they stay the same,” she said.

"They still need the same things, they still come to you with the same issues.

"I find the school kids keep you young and they certainly keep me up to date with all the latest trends.”

As a young teacher, Mrs Truscott had decided she would only go out and do her three years in the bush as part of her country service.

But she now happily calls Chinchilla home and is looking forward to seeing her students out and around town.

"I've loved living and teaching in the country,” she said.

"This school has become like a family to me and it will be quite hard to say farewell.

"I'm forever seeing my students past and present at the supermarket or down town with their families.

"It's nice knowing they remember you and want to say hello.

"It's a good feeling knowing you were a part of their school years and their youth.”

Mrs Truscott said it simply felt like the right time for her to retire and was looking forward to more travel with Mr Truscott and getting back into some of her favourite hobbies that had been neglected over the years.

SCHOOL'S OUT: Mrs Truscott rings the bell for the last time on her last day at Chinchilla State School.
SCHOOL'S OUT: Mrs Truscott rings the bell for the last time on her last day at Chinchilla State School. Kate McCormack

As for advice for young teachers coming into the profession, she has some cracking words of wisdom.

"You've got to have a real fire in the belly when it comes to teaching,” she said.

"There's days when you might lose your passion but ultimately you have to keep that fire alive and always have hope.”


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